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Glenn Kappelman World War II photographs collection

Call Number: RH PH 533


Glenn Kappelman smuggled a camera with him when he served in the European theatre of World War II. The photographs he took document his training, time as a replacement soldier awaiting assignment, and service with the 106th Cavalry Group in France, Germany, and Austria.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1944-1945, 1999, 2000 ( 1944-1945)


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Glenn L. Kappelman

Glenn L. Kappelman took 750 photographs while serving in the U.S. Army in 1944 and 1945, in various stateside training bases, and in the European theatre as a replacement soldier assigned to the 106th Cavalry Group, where he was a gunner on an armored car. These photographs make up the bulk of this collection and were the basis for a documentary video and a book.

Born November 29th, 1922, in Ottawa, Kansas, Kappelman spent most of his life in Lawrence, Kansas, graduating from Liberty Memorial High School in 1941 and earning a B.A. from the University of Kansas in 1948 after returning from the war. His M.A. in Political Science from KU came in 1950, and he stayed in Lawrence to have a long career in real estate and public service.

Glenn Kappelman married Betty Lloyd in 1953, with whom he had three children: Mark, Matthew, and Melanie. Kappelman died April 1, 2004.

History of the 106th Cavalry Group

The 106th Cavalry Group, organized from an Illinois National Guard unit in Chicago in 1940 and reorganized in 1944 as a mechanized reconnaisance squadron, used jeeps, armored cars, and light tanks to serve as a highly mobile and wide-ranging scout unit in France, Germany, and Austria during the latter part of World War II. Among their many wartime successes, they rescued the Belgian King, Leopold III, and his family from German imprisonment in a chateau near Strobl, Austria.


2 Linear Feet (4 document cases + 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Glenn Kappelman served as part of the 106th Cavalry Group in France, Germany, and Austria during the final two years of World War II. Contrary to U.S. Army rules, he smuggled over and used a personal camera to chronicle his self-described "adventure." The collection includes two scrapbooks of vintage snapshots and 407 pages of enlarged copies with captions. These enlargements were originally in seven binders, which were discarded to save space. Original, chronological order from those binders has been maintained. A letter of gratitude from King Albert II of Belgium, whose family was liberated from German captivity by the 106th Cavalry, and a newspaper article about a book project that used Kappelman's photographs complete the collection.

Kappelman's photographs include his entire service from boot camp to release, but there are some highlights worthy of comment. Page 207 shows colonial African prisoners of war, freed by U.S. soldiers, and page 300 shows the liberation of King Leopold III of Belgium. Pages, including 337, show post-war Munich and some of its extensive bomb damage.

The winter of 1944-1945 was a particularly harsh one in Europe. Page 247 shows snow on the ground near Wasserburg, Germany on May 2, 1945, when the 1,500 men of the 106th Cavalry Group forced the surrender of an 8,000 man Hungarian unit, their last active combat of the war. Page 358 shows a very tall roadside snowbank in Austria on July 15th of the same year.

Physical Location

RH PH 533

Physical Location

RH PH 533(f)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Glenn Kappelman, 2000.

Separated Materials

Howard, Thomas J, et al, eds. The 106th Cavalry Group in Europe, 1944-1945. Topeka, Ks: Jostens Printing and Publishing, 1999. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C12315.

Kappelman, Glenn L. and Art Barkis. Through My Sights: A Gunner's View of WWII. Lawrence, Ks: Taken Ten, Inc, 1999. Video cassette, 58 minutes. Located at Spencer Research Library at KC AV 53.

Guide to the Glenn Kappelman World War II Photographs Collection
Glenn Kappelman World War II photographs collection
Finding aid compiled by lmb. Finding aid encoded by lmb.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Glenn Kappelman World War II photographs collection, RH PH 533, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States